Bird flu risk is currently high warns Switzerland’s Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO).
At the end of 2019, the bird flu virus H5N8 was discovered on a number of poultry farms in Poland. In addition, several cases have been reported on farms in Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Czech Republic and Ukraine. Among wild birds, cases have been reported in Poland and Germany. A map showing locations of the infected birds can be found here.
Originally from Africa, the H5N8 virus has been found in wild birds in Russia in recent years.
The main risk in Switzerland is from the virus arriving with migratory birds. If the current unseasonably warm weather continues, birds could migrate north west rather than south, reducing the risk of the birds passing through Switzerland. On the other hand, a cold snap could send them south via Switzerland, which could see the birds making a pit stop on Swiss lakes.
The FSVO asks the public to report any dead or sick birds so they can be tested for the virus.
The last case of bird flu in Switzerland was recorded in December 2017. An infected swan was found on the shore of Lake Bienne.